The likelihood of an emergency responder being struck by a vehicle while working on the side of the road has become very high as they work on the scene of car accidents and other roadside situations. Motorists might accidentally strike a worker, especially if visibility is low. The United States government realized something had to be done following the unexpectable amount of fatalities and in 2003, they passed the “Move Over Law”. Drivers are required to give space to stopped emergency vehicles with this law. When passing parked emergency vehicles, motorists in most U.S. states can be fined for failing to slow down or changing lanes. Today, we at Citywide Towing Service would like to elaborate on the law many motorists neglect.
Why Was the Move Over Law Passed?
To reduce the number of injuries and fatalities to emergency responders, all 50 states passed the law. Though most know that motorists should make way for ambulances, police, tow trucks, and any other utility workers with their flashing emergency lights, few acted once they arrived on the scene unless forced by law enforcement redirecting traffic. To give safe clearance to ambulances, law enforcement officers, firefighters, utility workers, as well as tow-truck drivers is what the Move Over Law is meant for. To safely complete their work, the law requires you to give at least one lane of buffer space for the emergency vehicle. You are obligated to move one lane over to the left to give enough space to avoid any potential accidents should you be driving in the right lane and you see a stopped ambulance, police car or tow truck for instance. Defined by your local law, you should slow down to either a reasonable speed or a fixed speed below the limit if moving is impossible. Most states have a set speed around 20 mph, give or take.
Tow Trucks are Consider Emergency First Responder Vehicles
To include not only police, fire trucks, and ambulances, on January 1, 2012, the move over law was modified to also incorporate hazard vehicles, such as tow trucks. When you think of first responders, tow truck drivers might not come to mind immediately. The tow truck driver will be right there alongside the officers and ambulances to help you with the situation in the unfortunate event of a car accident or breakdown. Every time they work alongside the road, tow truck operators are at risk. Between the tow truck operator and a car speeding down the highway is mere inches in many cases. While loading up cars, tow truck drivers are too often struck and injured or fatally killed. To eliminate this tragedy, the Move Over Law is set in place.
Spirit Ride; Slow Down, Move Over Events
To promote the Move Over Law, many in the tow truck community and their families have made it their duty. To honor lost loved ones and to bring awareness to the law, the annual Spirit Ride brings together tow truck drivers and from around the various counties in the country. Some are pressuring law enforcement to better enforce the law with higher fines and stricter enforcement, where improvement has occurred. In any case, value the lives of everyone in the community and ensure you slow down and give a wide birth to everyone offering assistance on the roadside.